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How you can help SSJID move forward
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

There have been several recent letters to the editor regarding PG&E’s electric rate restructuring and increases, and South San Joaquin Irrigation District’s plan to provide an alternative to PG&E’s high rates and lackluster service.  Specifically, a letter from Mr. Gary Duran asked SSJID what he could do to help move the plan forward.  I’d like to answer that question, not just for Mr. Duran but for all of our constituents in Manteca, Ripon, Escalon and surrounding rural areas.  

Your support of SSJID’s effort to become your electric utility is critical to our success at the hearing during which the San Joaquin Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) will vote later this year.  When SSJID says “Powered by People Like You,” we say that because the plan really belongs to electric ratepayers within the District. SSJID fully understands that we must win a “yes” vote from LAFCo in order to become your non-profit electric utility and offer you a 15% discount over PG&E’s current rates.  We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the plan offers our communities a public benefit, above and beyond anything that PG&E offers.  Folks ask us “when?” and “how much longer?” until the plan brings them rate relief.  SSJID will do its part to prove to LAFCo that we can and will live up to the commitment we have made to provide better service, local control, improved system reliability, and most importantly for customers and the local economy—a 15% discount over PG&E’s rates.  We appreciate LAFCo’s cautious effort to move the review process forward.

While SSJID would not presume your support unless we can prove our case, you can tell LAFCo about who you want to provide your electricity and why.  Your attendance at the LAFCo hearing, soon to be scheduled, will make the biggest impact, especially if you are willing to speak up.  Prior to the hearing, letters to LAFCo, to your County Supervisor, and to your local newspapers are all ways to have your say.  Open up a dialogue with your friends, family and the businesses you shop at about the issue.   Now is the time to let LAFCo know your opinion, your wishes, and your concerns.  Except for one appointed public member, LAFCo is comprised of local elected officials whose job it is to represent you.  They want to know how you feel about this issue, and while SSJID still has to prove its case at the hearing, your voice is just as important to our success.  

If you haven’t already, you can go to our website dedicated to this issue and sign up as a supporter or send us questions and comments.  That will enable SSJID to keep you updated on our progress as we get closer to the hearing and suggest ways that you can get involved if you so choose.  The website is  Together, we have a voice.  Together we can change what isn’t working and create a better future.  SSJID cannot and should not do this in a vacuum; we need folks like Mr. Duran to take a stand.  Public input can make all the difference.

Jeff Shields
General Manager
June 24, 2011